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A dripping tap can be annoying, but also expensive, wasteful and damaging. And even if you can’t hear that annoying drip sound, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem – in fact, the leaks you can’t see can cause serious damage without you even realising.
In this post we’re talking about detecting water leaks from taps and plumbing. Further down we’ll share how to detect leaks as they happen and even cut the water supply automatically. But first, a quick test you can do to see if you have any leaks right now.
While precisely honing in on that leak can be much more difficult, it’s actually really easy to know if you have a leak somewhere at your place.
Step 1. Double check that everything that uses the water mains in any way is completely turned off – including things you may have forgotten about like a washing machine or evaporative air conditioner.
Step 2. Find your mains water meter and do a visual check for a couple of moments – is the dial moving at all? If it is, stop your search – you have a leak. If the dial is not moving, move on to step 3
Step 3. If the dial is not visibly moving, write down the numbers you see on the meter, which represent kilolitres and litres. Get on with your day for 10 minutes, remembering not to use any water in or around the house.
Step 4. Return to the meter and take another meter reading. If the numbers don’t match from Step 3, you have a leak – somewhere.
Once you’ve detected a leak, next is finding it! Trouble is those leaks could be anywhere. If you’re lucky you’ll find evidence in wet areas like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry, or places where damp patches can be easily detected. But is could also be in your garden and irrigation systems, hidden pipe work, hot water and air conditioning systems – and more.
Although you might consider yourself pretty handy, there are strict limits throughout Australia about what sort of plumbing work you can do. Yes, you can fix a leaking tap – but you can’t go much beyond that without needing a licensed professional to do the work for you. As a general rule, if you aren’t sure whether you need a licensed plumber, it’s best not to risk breaking the regulations and voiding your insurance coverage.
To be on the safe side, here at Gold Coast Plumbing Company we recommend getting one of the best leak detection devices on the market installed. The industry leader is AquaTrip, which is the eyes and ears of a skilled plumbing professional working 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
AquaTrip is permanently installed by a plumber on the main pipe at the water meter, and constantly checks for even tiny leaks in your home. If and when one is found, it is ready to shut off the water supply thanks to an automatic shutoff valve – and turning the water back on is fast and simple. The technology is more effective that the 4 step leak detection test above, as it will see tiny leaks that your water meter will not show.
Basically, it’s a bit like the RCD safety system on your mains electrical system – but for water. If any pipe, fitting or appliance in your place starts to leak, AquaTrip will automatically turn off the main at your place to prevent that leak from causing damage, wasting water or creating safety hazards.
It’s also practical for those forgetful moments, as it can be programmed to ‘know’ that your bath is running over or you’ve forgotten to turn off the tap after filling the pool.
If you want an AquaTrip installed, a difficult-to-locate leak fixed, hammering pipes silenced and higher-than-usual water bills got under control, it may be time to call your local Gold Coast Plumbers. Whether a niggling leak or an absolute gushy emergency, we can be at your place before you know it.